The Boy I Thought I Knew, from Gemini the Musical (2004) (Day 183)

Jillian Barry 2004This should have gotten posted earlier, if we’re talking about the chronology of the show. This was the other song I wrote (along with the spec song “Queer” and the 2007 “Somebody’s Knocking“) for the scene in Act One where Francis and Judith are alone in his bedroom for their first private conversation. In 2004, I had the notion that Judith was a guitar-playing troubadour (hence the mention of the “twelve string” in “Happy Birthday, Francis“), a kind of Joni Mitchell wannabe. (There was even a direct reference to Joni in a draft second verse of this song that didn’t make it into rehearsal, and the phrase “cafe confidantes” feels like something she would have written.) You may recognize the “walk along the Charles” refrain as something that originally appeared in “Queer,” the one part of that song that seemed like it could work in this more tender mood. Jillian Louis does a simply lovely job with the vocal, Lars Halle did a great arrangement, and I love the little Jaco-style electric bass figures that Kevin McConnell plays in the “You and me” bridge.

I can’t forget the day we met,
That class in Russian Lit.
You made me laugh with a stupid joke about
“How Pushkin came to shove.”
Later on, when you confessed
That Uncle Vanya made you cry
I recall I thought, “Oh my,
Not your typical kind of guy.”

We made a most unlikely pair
And yet, somehow, we fit.
We were cafe confidantes, so nonchalant,
A conspiracy of two.
Such comfortable companions
And each day, the feeling grew,
Until I found myself believing
You were someone I could love.

Then there was that walk along the Charles.
We argued through the night
And held each other tight —
Wasn’t that you?
Wasn’t there an intimate connection
When our bodies intertwined?
I think I loved the boy I thought I knew.

You and me,
Such camaraderie.
God, it’s strange,
How things can change
So unexpectedly.
I and thou,
We just clicked somehow.
That’s a thing to cling to.
Only it seems less simple now

Because I can’t forget those precious evenings
We talked all through the night,
You kissed me, held me tight.
Know that was you.
I think about the intimate connection
That somehow got left behind…

That didn’t go the way I planned it to.
I didn’t know the boy I thought I knew.

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